The US State Department has criticized Israel for not making a significant effort to combat human trafficking or meet international standards to combat trafficking.
The State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons Report, which cited the coronavirus pandemic as a cause for a surge in human slavery between 2020 and 2021, said for the first time in ten years Israel’s rank has fallen, adding that the Israeli ministries had been making tangible efforts against human trafficking, but these efforts “have not been serious or continuous compared to previous years”.
According to the report, the Israeli government, led by outgoing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, did not allocate a budget for the national plan to combat human trafficking, two years after its approval.
It has also gone back on serious and sustained initiatives to combat trafficking, including reducing investigations and prosecutions of perpetrators, and understaffing at its only authority directly charged with dealing with the matter.
According to Israeli data, Israeli police investigated 11 cases of human trafficking in 2020 with nine indictments being submitted. This is in comparison to 18 investigations and 20 indictments in 2019.
Source: Palestine Chronicle